(Credit: Rundfunkchor Berlin / Jonas Holthaus)
The Senate of the City of Berlin has announced a decision to allow choral singing in closed spaces to resume, under very strict and precise regulation.
In order to provide a safe environment for choral singing and to minimize the risk of infection with COVID-19, the Senate has announced a set of measures that must be respected at all times. Under the guidance, collective singing must not last longer than 60 minutes per rehearsal or performance. Detailed ventilation rules have also been explained, which include regular servicing of the existing ventilation systems. HEPA filters must also be used in that case, which will have to be changed on a regular basis.
Ventilation must start at least 45 minutes before the rehearsal or the performance, and last until the end. In the case of manual ventilation, 30 minutes of ventilation are required following the performance, after which the closed space has to be empty for two hours. Following another period of 30-minute ventilation, the rehearsal or the performance will be allowed to resume.
Audiences must wear mouth and facial coverings at all times, except when seated during the performance. However, spectators are encouraged to leave their facemasks on during the entire duration of the performance.
A minimum distance of two meters must be observed between the singers at all times and in all directions. The distance between the choir and the audience must be at least four meters.
“It is important to take the regulations into account responsibly and conscientiously in the interests of singers and the audience,” said Dr Klaus Lederer, Berlin’s Senator for Culture and Europe. “In such a way, we are enabling the experience of ‘singing together’ again,” added Lederer.